Interview with Brian Jian, an excerpt

This is from my interview with the very funny Brian Jian.  You can read the whole piece At the Bar.

You know, comedy strikes me as a being a very difficult business to break into. What difficulties have you faced?

The biggest difficulty I'd say was realizing it IS a "business." And there are politics involved. Of all the forms of entertainment, its closer to a meritocracy than most but definitely not based totally on merit. There are more occurrences of nepotism, favoritism, sexism, image consciousness and "scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" than not. I always thought "Funny trumped all", and it does, to an extent. But there are SHOCKING and glaringly examples of when lesser talented and experienced people get ahead of others more deserving. You have to really have a steel resolve in the business and remember why you got into stand up comedy in the first place: severe mommy issues.

Mommy iss...*blinks*  Brian, which would you say was your favorite performance?

This one time I told the PERFECT joke in front of a crowd of 500 people, three people in the front row spit out their drinks. One person sitting in the balcony, fell over and landed on his head. But he was laughing so hard, he got up and kept laughing hysterically. A woman booed and heckled me, so I retorted, "Hey! Why don't you go jump in a lake??" The crowd erupted with applause at her receiving her come uppance. I finished the joke with a carthwheel, bank flip into a hand stand (something I've never done before on stage!) After I exited, the crowd wouldn't stop cheering. The stage manager pleaded, "You gotta get back out there! They're gonna riot if you don't encore!!" So sheepishly walk back out on stage, embarrassed at my own success and talent. The crowd thundered approval and wouldn't even let me start talking. They just carried me out on their shoulders and we walked out into the street, in the middle of Manhattan, cops were high-fiving me, women fainted as we marched past, and we all got ice cream.

Or this other time, I was at an open mic in front of 4 other drunk, stupid comedians, who were barely listening to me anyway. I told a joke that bombed and one of them yelled out, "Don't quit your day job."

One of those stories is truer than the other.

Mm-hm. *gives a look* Are you currently working on anything we should look out for?

I'm always working and writing random crap. Every now and then I put up a video on YouTube. That'd be a good place to start.

Mm-hm.  Y'all know he loves that dog.


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